A Clovis historian’s ordinary day of antique buying quickly evolved into much more. Unknown treasure purchased for $20 at an antique shop in Clovis could be worth thousands.
Ron Sundquist was waiting for us in Old Town Clovis on a Friday afternoon, excitedly carrying a dallah, a shiny device that appeared to have once been used to serve tea.
He had it examined by local jewelers and historians, and it might have been the purchase of a lifetime.
Sundquist has experience with history; in 1982, he founded the Big Dry Creek Museum. Since then, I’ve become interested in a wide range of things. Selling and collecting because Clovis doesn’t have much to offer. Sundquist mentioned antique shops.
You might have noticed some of his murals and artwork throughout the Clovis region because, believe it or not, he is also an artist. This piece caught his attention because of the mix of his skills.
— KMJ's Afternoon Drive (@DriveKMJ) November 29, 2022
“Learn about stuff you don’t often look for. And such items are available. This wasn’t what I was searching for, he said. We had the good fortune to run across Ron in a different neighborhood antique store from where he bought this dallah.
He simply dropped by, pleased with what he thought to be a unique discovery. Even better, we got to see a different historian verify the discovery’s veracity.
The dallah weighs over 459 grams of sterling silver and is thought to have been produced during the Civil War. It is obvious that it was expertly crafted.
At an antique store in Old Town Clovis, everything was only $20.
“I immediately recognized that I had made a wise choice; I estimated that it might be worth $40. Double the amount I put in? So, here we are,” Sundquist remarked. And you would assume that this treasure is one of a lifetime, wouldn’t you?
It’s not his first time in the Old Town, I suppose.
He once discovered 21 original Charles Linburg photographs, which he claimed may be worth tens of thousands of dollars. All of it contributes to Old Town Clovis’ allure.
“While we are currently doing a study on this, here is what we know so far: the weight, the markings… I’ll assure you of the treasures you’ll discover in Clovis,” he replied.
We questioned him about his intentions for the find. He claimed that as an artist, he truly intended to portray it exactly as it was.
Then? He wants to keep it for at least a little while so that he can enjoy it and perhaps watch its value rise.